Bush calls for ban on gay marriage

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Sunday, June 4, 2006

United States President George W. Bush used his weekly radio address to propose the country's Constitution be amended to ban same-sex marriages.

Mr. Bush formally defined marriage as a "union between a man and a woman" and said that an amendment was needed because the presence of "activist" courts left him with no alternative. He also stated that, "Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society."

Democrats have accused the government of using this as a smokescreen to divert attention from more important issues. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said, "Bush Republicans would rather focus on purely divisive maneuvers than real solutions that address the growing energy crisis."

The President may be able to focus attention on a subject of his choosing at a time when an energy crisis or the war in Iraq may be a distraction for his Republicans and a vote-winner for Democrats.

A recent Gallup poll showed that 59% of Americans were against validating gay marriages by law. It is possible the Republicans will use this finding to gain a political edge come election time. An amendment such as one to ban gay marriage may not pass, but some assert this will be a vote-winner for the Republicans during the mid-term polls in November.

Any such amendment would need two-thirds approval in the House of Representatives (290 out of 435) and the Senate (67 out of 100) as well as the approval of three-fourths of the state legislatures (38 out of 50). Currently, the Republican Party holds 231 seats in the House and 55 seats in the Senate, and has majority control of 20 state legislatures. A similar amendment was defeated in 2004.